The pace of our modern world is frantic, and it is completely normal to get caught up in that pace and get exhausted and emotionally burnt out from time to time. And one of the things we turn to when we have to deal with depression is our dogs. They provide us love and support, without ever questioning us or second guessing us. But in the same breath, we need to be cautious of the energy we surround our dogs with, because without even realizing it, we could be adding to the dogs stress and risk of depression as well.
A dog, for all intent and purpose, is an “energy sponge”. What we here at dogPACER mean by that is, they absorb whatever emotion you project on to them. If you come home from work, barge into your house like some sort of angry monster, throw your bag down in the corner, and storm towards your office, you don’t need a psychic there to tell you something is wrong. And your dog is going to pick up on that energy and feed off of it.
The wisest of us know angry owners are often the cause for angry dogs. Pit bulls for example, as actually very loving breeds, but they have fallen into the negative category for the type of owners they attract. While the people often think the breed aggressive, an aggressive pit bull is the reflection of an aggressive owner. Now let’s take that idea and apply it to other emotions as well.
Though depression is a valid medical condition, we all need to take into consideration the affect that has on our environment around us. Our dogs feel our emotion, and they feel it on a level we cannot fully comprehend.
While you being forced to deal with depression can be tough enough, you have external control over your life and what you do. Are you sad? You can go for a walk, or call a friend, or visit with family. But what about your dog? Can your dog just hop into the car and go visit some of his dog friends from other neighborhoods? Can your dog sit and write a poem, allowing that emotion to get out? No, whatever the dog does is dictated to it by its owner. Now do you have a more vivid picture of just how dangerous and unhealthy depression can be for our dogs? Not only will it feel our sadness, but it may be alone for hours every day while we work, having no way to dilute that depression, which can then invoke lethargy and in some cases, even death.
The reason we are writing this right now is to make a point. Do you see the scope of all the wonderful moments of joy your dogs bring you? And do you see how unfair it is to thrust depression on an animal that seems solely concerned that you are happy, always putting itself second? Maybe its time we put our dog friends first. They cheer us up in our darkest hours, and I think we should do the same for them.